Letters for Tuesday, September 30, 2008

• Ferrying sinister ambitions

• Problems our seniors face

• Happy Rosh Hashana

Ferrying sinister ambitions

In Stan Godes’ letter in support of the ferry he longs to “cross the channel” once again and not have to deal with the “zoo” at the airport (“I’d like to sail the channel again,” Letters, Sept. 27).

I am neither a “greenie” nor on the front lines to protect the whales. With a degree as a “cultural linguist” I am equipped to predict some obvious changes that the ferry would deposit on Kaua‘i. Everyone who seems to support the ferry in writing their opinions to the editor build their argument on the pronoun “I.”

I can take my vehicle and shop on “Ohaui.” Or, I won’t have to deal with the Lihue Airport. I can save money hand-carrying items and not have to send them on the barge. And the most popular: “I can save money.”

The ferry’s effects on the enviroment get most of the attention, but while Godes wishes a pleasure trip, there will be other individuals arriving with more sinister ambitions. We must realize the so-called “zoo” at the airport restricts the ability of criminal behavior and protects our tranquil way of life. With that ferry, the ill intent will be able to bring their contraband with ease. Weapons, drugs and gang activity will rise.

Kauai Police Department has admitted that they are limited in their ability to deal with the ramifications, and we all know our infrastructures are already pushed to their limits. Unlike the current air sytem, a Kaua‘i child could be snatched and with minimal planning be hidden in a vehicle arriving and leaving on the ferry. Thieves, gangs and drug dealers will be able to set their roots permanently on our island. While Godes is cruising on his ride, someone else who arrived earlier may be targeting his home and not worried about getting away with his loot because the Superferry will be his get-away vehicle. Please, if you wish to debate the plus/negatives of the ferry for our beloved island, express opinions that detail the beneifits for all of us who value our special existence and/or the benefits to the island herself.

My rejection of the ferry is based on what is good for our keiki. No convenience, money saved or even pleasure cruise is worth the safety our children and families currently enjoyed by the systems now in place. The ocean is better than the great wall of China yet there are always those who would provide transportation for the “hordes” who would plunder our tranquilty for the price of a “saved buck.”

Finally, Godes states that if we do not take action to admit this ferry dutifully it may go away forever. Well, I am willing to throw a goodbye party tomorrow if need be and I will stand tall at the pier, waving and singing the melody of A-L-O-H-A accompanied by the strings of a steel guitar.

Eduardo Valenciana


Problems our seniors face

In 2009, people in the most popular Medicare drug plans will be seeing a large increase in their premiums, some as high as 60 percent. Information on premiums and coverage options for 2009 should be available starting Oct. 1. Even people who can afford the higher premiums should start checking to see if their drugs will still be covered next year. People have the right to change Medicare health plans for 2009 from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31.

In most states there are nearly 100 different Medicare private drug and health plans to choose from.

Consumers should look at affordability of premiums, whether or not their prescriptions are covered by the plan. For people considering a Medicare HMO or other private health plan, check to see if your doctors will accept the plan in 2009 and whether it provides protections against high medical costs.

Unfortunately there are no standardized benefit packages for either drug or health plans and people cannot receive drug coverage through original Medicare.

Here’s hoping the next administration creates a Medicare-run drug benefit that would provide stability and peace of mind to older adults and people with disabilities who trust and rely on the program for their other health care.

Bert Schifferling

Puunene, Maui

Happy Rosh Hashana

Today (Sept. 29), when New York Stock Exchange closed with a historical loss, despite the economic crisis the country is in, our congressmen and congresswomen left for a two-day Rosh Hashana vacation. In the meantime mainstream media continues to bombard the American public with scary news about the possible collapse of the U.S. economy. CNN went as far as saying that this crisis may result in layoffs and salaries not paid as early as tomorrow. As it is depicted, it is a true crisis that needs an urgent solution. But what’s more important — Rosh Hashana or the national economy? It appears that the former one.

Perhaps Congress prefers to take two days off to show George Bush that they don’t trust him and refuse to work on his proposal that he came up with hastily to remedy the problem that has been boiling for a long time. No need. It is time to tell it to his face: his proposals almost never worked, but he was successful in one thing; he very quickly depleted the treasury from the $350 billion surplus he had when he took over his office and turned it into a historical national debt, which is increasing daily by $2.42 billion dollars. If he failed in so many things, why would you trust his plan now?

And for the American public? There is something for them, too. On Jewish holidays let the non-Jewish members continue the work in the Congress and make the decisions as if nothing happened and on Christian holidays let the non-Christians work and make decisions. Or perhaps we should declare all those holidays national holidays and let the entire country take time off. Wouldn’t it be fair?

Maybe this would avert a national crisis, because the people would be happier. Until then Happy Rosh Hashana U.S. Congress.

Janos Samu



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